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May 24, 2012


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Alfred Brophy


As to your list of forthcoming dean searches, Ray Pierce is leaving North Carolina Central, so I'm guessing they'll be in a dean search, too, next year. (Unless they've already named a permanent dean and I missed it.)

Charles Paul Hoffman

Interesting that the deans come from a much broader swath of law schools than do entry-level candidates. Is this a factor of changes in hiring practice (i.e., was it easier to get an entry-level position twenty years ago than it is now) or is this perhaps evidence that the university where one got his/her JD is not a very good predictor of success once inside the academy?

Kendall Isaac

I believe the drive within the candidate is the measure of success in academia and not the law school the candidate graduated from...but then again I am a Capital Grad so feel free to discount my comment accordingly.


I don't think many academics would consider success in academia to be measured by whether one becomes a dean (if anything, it is the contrary)...

Anon Too

Anon, that is because a deanship is real work, and most law school faculty are allergic to anything that looks or smells like real work.

Charles Paul Hoffman

I wasn't trying to suggest that being a dean = success, and that not being a dean = failure (or anything nearly so simplistic), but there is a certain amount of prestige associated with deanships, and dean search committees no doubt seriously consider the candidate's prestige as a means of increasing institutional prestige (esp. since it's a great way to poach someone you probably couldn't get otherwise). So, the fact that, except for Yale, you don't see the elite schools dominating the deans races seems to say something about the (lack of) connection between first law degree and later academic "success".

That said, I fully understand why being a dean is not necessarily associated with being a productive researcher/writer, since it takes so much time away from that. But, if you look at things pre-deanhood, I would expect the dean set to be in the top half or third of productivity/prestige.

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